Woman Speaks Out After Disabled Brother Denied Entry To Children's Museum

| by Karin Sun
Josh and Emily JanzenJosh and Emily Janzen

A disabled man was reportedly denied entry into the Children's Museum in Winnipeg, Canada, because of his age.

Emily Janzen told CA Global News that her brother, Josh Janzen, 21, was turned away from the museum when he tried to visit with his caretaker on Jan. 23. The disabled adult was allegedly denied admittance because he was over the age of 18 years old.

Josh suffers from severe cerebral palsy, cannot speak and is confined to a wheelchair. He is unable to participate in most adult activities because of his disability but enjoys using the interactive exhibits at the Children's Museum.

He had reportedly visited the museum several times before without incident, and this was the first time he was refused admittance.

Museum policy states that adults unaccompanied by children, as well as children unaccompanied by adults, may be denied entry.

"The policy is there to protect children and keep the museum a safe space," museum spokesman Erin Mcintyre said in a statement to CA Global News. "The exhibits are really meant for kids under the age of 9, however we use 18 as the legal age."

Museum officials declined to comment on Josh's specific case.

Emily said she understands the museum's concerns about safety but believes museum officials should use their discretion instead of enforcing a blanket policy.

"Under this policy it would be perfectly acceptable for us to drop off Josh and my 5-month-old Enzo and leave them to their own devices," Emily said.

When the family contacted museum management about the issue, they were reportedly offered only a tour or an invitation to an adult trivia night where alcohol is served, neither of which would allow Josh an opportunity to interact with the hands-on exhibits.

Emily said she is disappointed in the way the museum handled the issue.

"Although I understand why this policy is in place, I am disappointed that suddenly this policy applies," she said. "That it is yet another thing that Josh cannot do, and that there is not an exception for those that are challenged in everyday life, learning and play."

This is not the first time a disabled adult has been denied admittance into a facility designed for children.

In January 2015, two mentally-disabled men were banned from a Legoland park in Manchester, England, because of the park's policy to deny entry to adults unaccompanied by children, according to the Independent.

In response, the mother of one of the men started a petition asking that the park admit disabled adults. The petition was signed by nearly 8,000 people before it closed.

Sources: CA Global News, Independent / Photo Credit: Submitted, Walther Bernal via CA Global News

Do you think the museum should make an exception for Josh?
Yes - 0%
Yes - 0%